Monday, November 10, 2008

Bulk Teriyaki Jerky by the Pound

A search for a good bulk jerky supplier or distributor can be involved. Not only do you want to find a reasonably priced jerky but you also want to find a great tasting and high quality jerky as well (forget for a minute that we're looking specifically for teriyaki flavored jerky). Whether you're looking to outfit a backpacking trip, cater a sporting event, large events, or just plain want to find the most jerky for the best possible price, you'll eventually ask where can I buy jerky by the case? or where can I buy jerky by the pound?

Some jerky suppliers online sell by the case, but a case is usually made up of smaller 3 oz. 4 oz. or 5 oz. bags. This is likely more convenient on hiking trips or for parties. The largest increments I've seen advertised online, at least for consumers, is about 5 lb., usually in 1 or 2 lb bags at a time, but that is an open ended quote. So if you need 100 lbs. of teriyaki jerky, they'll be more than happy to oblige, though I don't know where the price reductions top out in product or shipping. Unless you're looking to become a distributor or you purchase a generous amount of product, you may not get much of a break (don't let it stop you from trying though). Price/lb. for a good quality whole-muscle beef jerky (pork, alligator, lamb, etc is more expensive) is around the $20-$35 range. Yes, you will find some wild deals like $6/lb or less but often they are of inferior quality or pushing their expiration date. If you know anyone who consistently sells good product for that little, please let me know. I've seen homemade jerkies (good according to customer reviews) for around $8-$10/lb. Typically these deals though are local prices, so when you try them online, their shipping costs jump up their prices. I'm sure there are premium jerkies people will happily pay much more for.

If $25-$30/lb. seems steep, here's a little primer on how jerky is priced. Because of the drying process, many jerky makers actually buy 3 lbs or more of meat just to make 1 lb of jerky, so you have to consider what kind of what quality meat they're buying, from where, and at what price. Now include the cost of other ingredients and spices such as teriyaki, hot peppers, spices, etc. Now add in packaging costs, electricity, administrative costs, other overhead costs, employees, and equipment. So buying raw meat in the store is not going to be comparable to buying a good tasting, fresh jerky. Shipping is a major price factor as well. Anywhere you see free shipping, pay attention. I've seen very cheap jerky with high customer praise, then go to their checkout form and see that their shipping is outrageous. International shipping obviously usually costs you more. I also give props to companies that offer military discounts for the troops. I'm a U.S. citizen and I support U.S. troops, but I'll bet overseas jerky manufacturers and suppliers offer discounts to their servicemen and servicewomen as well.

I hope to compile a full list of bulk teriyaki jerky suppliers to compare prices when I find the time and will update this post. I've already found a few but a couple of these suppliers have already changed their shipping and product prices on me. It's going to have to be a regularly updated list, it's tough though as homemade jerkies and websites come and go. I'll also seek out suppliers that charge less for larger shipments, as of this post most listings for bulk jerky are showing mostly specials or normal/higher prices per pound. Another route is to get a private label branding from jerky makers. How this works is you create your own business and label and use their product to sell to customers. You'll get wholesale prices on the jerky, but this probably isn't a deal they work out for consumers. I'll seek out the details, but this private label doesn't sound like it's going to help the average catering supplier, party coordinator, or hiking trip planner unless you're looking to promote their products to others.


Shirley said...

Joe, you make me want to go into the 'jerky' business!

I enjoy reading your posts and wanted to stop by and say, Happy Holidays to the beef jerky connoisseur! Wonderful wishes for your celebrations, during this delicious time of year.


Joe said...

Thanks Shirley. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family as well!